WILMINGTON, Mass. — Zane McIntyre is the veteran at Boston Bruins development camp.
The former University of North Dakota goaltender made his sixth development camp appearance Tuesday for the first practice of the week. McIntyre worked with Bruins goalie coach Bob Essensa before the session began, then practiced for 30 minutes with the first group of players.
McIntyre is expected to be among the goaltenders who will compete for the backup job behind starter Tuukka Rask when Bruins training camp opens in September. It’s a role that McIntyre is excited to compete for.
“Absolutely,” McIntyre said when asked if he wants a shot at competing for the backup job in Boston. “As a hockey player, you’re super competitive in any position. We’re going to try our best to be the best, whether it’s on ice working, off the ice doing stuff as well. I’m going to put by best foot forward in every situation I can to maybe get that spot that’s ahead of me.”
McIntyre has no experience in the NHL or AHL, but the two guys he will compete against for the B’s backup job, Malcolm Subban and Jeremy Smith, also have very little experience. Subban has played just one game in the NHL, and Smith has yet to make his debut.
“Obviously, there’s no pro experience and stuff, but at the same time, you’re play is going to dictate what happens,” McIntyre said. “I’ll probably learn that maybe sooner than later with pro hockey. You play well, you’re going to keep playing. If not, you’re going to find the rubber for a bit.
“I just got to learn to control what I can control, and put my best foot forward whether that’s in a situation at the (NHL) level or whether that’s in the AHL. Wherever you go there’s going to be competition, so I know that and understand that.”
McIntyre turned pro after three seasons with North Dakota and signed his entry-level contract with the Bruins on July 1. He was a 2015 Hobey Baker Award finalist after posting a 29-10-3 record with a 2.05 goals against average and a .929 save percentage.
McIntyre is one of the top goalie prospects in the league and has shown the maturity on and off the ice to handle the expectations he will face next season.
There’s no clear favorite for the backup goalie job, and it’s still possible for the Bruins to bring in a veteran, but McIntyre definitely deserves an opportunity to win the position.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images